A government sponsored free microchipping and registration scheme got underway on Thursday as part of efforts to address the huge problem of abandoned dogs in Cyprus.
The scheme was approved by cabinet on June 26 and will cover about 20,000 dogs. It started today and will continue until November 30.
The Agriculture Ministry hopes that the mass microchipping of dogs will help locate the owners of dogs that have been abandoned, lost or stolen.
?Αρχίζει σήμερα η δωρεάν Σήμανση και Εγγραφή σκύλων παγκύπρια
?Στόχος να σημανθούν 20.000 σκύλοι από 1η Αυγούστου έως 30 Νοεμβρίου 2019
— MOA press team (@CyMOApress) August 1, 2019
It is open to citizens who wish to microchip their dogs. Also eligible are animal welfare associations which will be able to microchip and register abandoned dogs.
The microchipping and registration of the dogs on the register will be carried out for free by the veterinary services on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 1 pm at their district offices as follows:
Nicosia district vet office (tel 22805241), Limassol district vet office (tel 25819512), Avdimou rural vet office (tel 25814326), Larnaca district vet office (tel 24821275/24821276), Skarinou rural vet office ( tel 24322358), Paphos district vet office (tel 26821261), Polis Chrysochous rural vet office ( tel 26815226) and Famagusta district vet office (tel 24824555)
The owner of the dog will be required to show an ID and the dog’s updated vaccination booklet.
To facilitate residents of communities wishing to participate in the scheme, vet department officials can visit theri communities to microchip dogs provided that in cooperation with the Hunters Association and animal welfare groups there are a minimum of 50 dogs to be microchipped.
The time and place will be agreed in consultation with the district offices.
Hard pressed animal shelters are struggling to cope with thousands of dogs which are abandoned every year, many of them hunting dogs that are dumped.
Authorities have been promising more action to improve animal welfare in Cyprus, including through harsher penalties for animal abuse, but little progress has been seen so far.
Authorities are also requiring that a hunter present proof their dog is microchipped in order to secure a licence to hunt with a dog.